"Apple juice, please." He said. "And you want cookies with that, right?" She replied. "How did you know?" He asked.
When you fly 10 flights a day and serve hundreds of people drinks, peanuts, pretzels and cookies, you can learn a thing or two about what people like. This is data. We don't often think of flight attendants as data miners, but as my conversation with this lady went on, she continued to amaze me with what conclusions she had drawn over the years by serving drinks and snacks. "People who want apple juice always want cookies." She told me. "It's just the way it is."
The power of observation is a powerful tool, and one that many brands overlook by not responding to customer feedback on Facebook, ignoring Tweets from fans over and over, not providing original content that your audience craves.
Millions of dollars are spent on consumer research each year. Surveys, field tests, focus groups, all valuable in their own way. But what about just observing how your customers currently view your brand? What could you learn from just spending some time watching? Apple juice and cookies. It's never what you expect.